There are many reasons why someone might walk on public roads after dark. Maybe they work a second-shift job and walk a few blocks home in the evening. Perhaps they like to go for a walk or jog after dinner to help digest their food. Unfortunately, being out on the road after dark is a serious personal safety risk. According to crash data from 2018, roughly 76% of all fatal pedestrian collisions that year took place during the darkest times of the day.
People can’t simply avoid walking anywhere after dark, particularly if they rely on it as one of their primary means of transportation. However, they can reduce their likelihood of being involved in a major collision by following the three safety tips below.
Use the right clothing and gear
Low-light conditions put pedestrians at risk both because drivers are less likely to watch for pedestrians after dark and because they will have less time to react once they spot a pedestrian in the road. Pedestrians may want to wear illuminated safety equipment, like headlamps. Clothing with reflective strips built in can also help catch the eye of motorists by reflecting their headlights.
Comply with traffic laws
The rules of the road require that pedestrians face into traffic when walking or jogging on public streets. Walking in the right direction can increase someone’s chances of spotting a drunk driver or catching the eye of someone on their evening commute home from work.
Plan routes carefully
There are two main factors that may influence the likelihood and severity of pedestrian crashes on public roads. One is the speed of the vehicles, as higher speeds usually translate to more severe collisions. The second is overhead illumination. Many of the worst crashes occur in the rural areas with no lighting. Pedestrians who plan routes on roads with lower speed limits and more illumination may reduce their chance of a major crash.
Pedestrians hurt by motorists often have the right to file an insurance claim or possibly a personal injury lawsuit. Making safety a top priority can help protect pedestrians from collisions that could change their lives and protect their ability to take legal action after one.